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a.MKE The List: Gas Prices up to $4 a Gallon & Milwaukee's First Cheese Factory: Today’s Top Stories

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It’s hard to miss and it scares a lot of us…gas prices are the talk of the nation right now. Gas is now selling for more than $4 a gallon in the Milwaukee area and the highest prices are at $4.15. You can find that price at most BP stations in north and central Milwaukee. This is the most expensive gas has been for this time of year, and local petroleum officials say the rise is in large part because of global instability, mainly in the Middle East.

Milwaukee’s Metro area gained roughly 2,500 jobs in January. According to the State Department of Workforce Development, during that month the biggest gains in Wisconsin were in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties. The gains aren’t that surprising for some as the state mentioned last week that it added an estimated 15,000 private-sector jobs during that month time frame…which is the state’s best showing in years.

Now through March 18th is Americorp week. There are over 24,000 individuals that dedicate themselves to full or part-time service through the Americorp program. This week it’s a nationwide celebration to draw attention to the program’s community impact. Over 1,700 individuals here in Wisconsin serve nonprofits with more than 1.8 hours of service. Local Americorp members hope to educate those who care about the future of Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

Attorneys for the recall committees, their recall targets and the Government Accountability Board agreed that State Elections Agency should receive an extension to certify petitions until March 30th. The GAB’s current deadline is March 19th. So if primaries are held, voters would go to the polls on June 5th for recall elections involving Governor Walker, LT Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and four republican state senators. The GAB has already declared that the four senators will face recall elections but it’s still not certain if Gov. Walker and LT Gov Lleefisch will.

Local police are still on the search for a missing Milwaukee man. 28-year-old Thomas Hecht has been missing since Saturday night when he took part in a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Rosie’s bar on Water Street. The Milwaukee Police Harbor Patrol Unit started a river search on Tuesday, but the search came up empty. Hecht’s family told police it’s uncharacteristic for him to be gone for so long without contacting the family. Police are asking anyone with information on Hecht’s whereabouts to call 414-945-7401.

Milwaukee’s very first cheese factory is set to open soon. The “Clock Shadow Creamery” will be located in the Walker’s Point area and Rounder Robert Wills says his new enterprise is about green features, social responsibility and healthy eating. The new facility was named after Allen-Bradley’s nearby clock-tower landmark and the facility will include a production area and a retail cheese shop. Wills plans on buying milk from nearby dairy farmers and is focusing on the local approach to food production and distribution.